For those of you in the UK of a certain age, you might remember Muhammad Shahid Nazir, although the chances are you are more likely to know him by his nickname, The one pound fish man. At one point his jaunty tune was as popular as any viral vid. But who is the enigmatic character and what happened to him?
We sort of take viral videos for granted these days. A video can easily chug along to 2 million views and you would probably be unaware it even existed. But back almost ten years ago, such figures were far more impressive and consequently, Nazir became a sensation and a quasi-celebrity with his catchy fish-based song.
Rise to prominence
He wasn’t always a pseudo-celebrity. Nazir came to the country as a teen on an educational visa. He abandoned his degree and began working in a local market in the East End of London near to the West Ham football ground. It was here that he created a name for himself. If you have ever been to a London market you will know that the stall owners will often try to get your attention by calling you to their stall. Nazir decided to do this by singing, about his cheap fish. His catchy jingle went:
Come on ladies, come on ladies
One pound fish
Have-a, have-a look
One pound fish
Very, very good, very, very cheap
One pound fish
Six for five-pound
One pound each
One day this rousing performance was uploaded to YouTube and the rest was history.
Rise to fame
With his popularity rightfully burgeoning he became increasingly in demand. This started with being invited to appear on the X-factor. He made an appearance and this only helped him grow in stature. Before he knew it he was being offered a record deal with Warner Records, which of course he accepted. He was quoted as saying he couldn’t believe his luck and he just was swept up in the excitement, ironically his newly found popularity would ultimately come at a price.
You don’t have to go home…
The problem was that in signing a record deal and making money from the aforementioned deal he was contravening the rules of his visa. This led to him being deported. He was forced to leave the UK and return back to his home in Pakistan. He has claimed that he was devastated by this as he had felt that the UK was his home.
So where is he now?
I guess that is the question you have come here to have answered! Following his deportatation, he tried on a couple of occasions to get a new Visa to work in the UK but both times these requests were denied as it was believed he wouldn’t stick to the terms of the visa. Nazir was vocal about this and has been told that his UK dream isn’t over and that he is free to reapply at a later date.
He has managed to carve out a niche for himself though. At one point his catchy song was so big that it was second in hits only to gagman style and he claims the only reason it didn’t beat the anthemic K-pop classic was that at the time YouTube wasn’t available in his native Pakistan, where he has become a bit of a cult hero.
Obviously, life goes on, but the story does have a positive ending. The One Pound Fish Man is in a career doing what he loves. No, not selling fish! But he writes music for a living. He writes political jingles for the Pakastani government. I didn’t even know that was a thing, but it is and he does it. Very, very good!